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Top 10 Songs of the Month: Ariana Grande, The Internet, and Greta Van Fleet

July certainly served up an enviable bounty of new music to explore

Ariana Grande's "God is a Woman" video
Ariana Grande’s “God Is a Woman” video
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There’s no better way to say it: July straight-up delivered. This past month, lovers of rock, pop, rap, hip-hop, and all that blurs between were left with their musical palettes satisfied. July saw the release of new songs from celebrated pop and rap fixtures, emerging rock artists, promising new singer-songwriters, beloved bands who took their latest work in an exciting new direction, and more — all of which you’ll find here.

While July certainly served up an enviable bounty of new music to explore, here are the tracks we haven’t been able to get out of our heads.

–Lindsay Teske
Contributing Writer

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10. Gloo – “Holiday”

The monotony of the daily grind can certainly be aggravating (or even maddening) at times, and UK rockers Gloo harnessed this sensation and wrapped it into a delectable sonic package. “Holiday,” the opening track from their latest album, A Pathetic Youth, details an almost carnal desire for escapism that’s soaked in percussion and riddled with sharp guitar riffs. The track maintains strength and swagger throughout, causing it to take up permanent mental real estate as a result — and deservedly so. The next time you feel your sanity being sacrificed to the rat race, take solace in the fact that Gloo created the ultimate musical catharsis as a remedy. You may not be able to take a real “holiday,” but listening to it does the trick nearly as well. –Lindsay Teske

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09. Raffaella – “Bruce Willis”

One may not think that a song named after an action film staple would be filled with such a poignant, artful examination of upper class elitism, but Raffaella has bought such a feat to life with the release of her second single, “Bruce Willis”. Embedded among a hypnotic guitar riff and Raffaella’s smooth vocal stylings lays a beautifully haunting wake-up call about the toxic trappings of extravagant living — both in a material and psychological sense. With its strong lyricism and ethereal melody, “Bruce Willis” is pure proof that Raffaella is well on her way. –Lindsay Teske

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08. Dirty Projectors – “I Found It in U”

Dirty Projectors delivered a joyous explosion of rhythm with “I Found It In U”, a track from their eighth album, Lamp Lit Prose. “I Found It In U” bursts to life with texture, complete with smooth guitar chords woven throughout that create an added layer of nuance and melodic interplay. The track quietly bubbles over with its own sense of lightness, like two giddy friends anxious to swap secrets. Exploratory with just the right amount of zaniness, “I Found It In U” victoriously cements its place as one of David Longstreth’s standout tracks. –Lindsay Teske

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07.  MØ and Diplo – “Sun in Our Eyes”

and Diplo’s “Sun in Our Eyes” is a tropical paradise, blending classic dance beats with profound lyrics, calling back to summers past. The singer’s ethereal voice gives the track an alien feeling, but stays danceable combined with Diplo’s warm production and a hefty dose of base. The song is the first single in advance of MØ’s sophomore LP out in October, which is sure to be full of jams like this one. “Sun in Our Eyes” is an ode to the summer, of days full of sweat and fun that turn melancholy in hindsight. –Clara Scott

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06. Big Red Machine – “Gratitude”

Off the heels of both Bon Iver and The National’s success, Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner have banded together to create an album as Big Red Machine. The group’s single, “Gratitude”, is a frenzy of Auto-Tune and electronic euphoria, a unique mix of both Vernon and Dessner’s specific styles. The album is set to be an experiment in what both artists’ fan bases will accept and certainly embrace. –Clara Scott

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05. Chance the Rapper – “I Might Need Security”

“I Might Need Security” is definitely one of Chance the Rapper’s more interesting songs. The recent release is rapped over a female vocalist’s ad-libbing of the words “f*** you” over and over again, which is jarring at first but then blends into Chance’s singular flow as the song goes on. Complete with an album cover of an abstract version of the “clenched fist” Arthur meme, Chance the Rapper’s weird and wonderful world is present while he talks about more serious issues. Touching on politics, his experiences in Chicago, and the realities of Internet-age fame, the rapper brings important themes to light with a comic twist. –Clara Scott

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04. Greta Van Fleet – “When the Curtain Falls”

“When the Curtain Falls” makes it easy to understand why classic rock revivalists Greta Van Fleet experienced such a meteoric rise in an astonishingly short period of time. The track revels in its own authority by packing power into every single beat and note, exuding an all-consuming electricity as a result. “When the Curtain Falls” is also likely the first preview of the band’s forthcoming debut full-length album, which listeners have been waiting for with bated breath following the success of their 2017 EP, From the Fires. It is no easy feat to have a hand in pioneering a rock ‘n’ roll renaissance in a time where pop and hip-hop are dominating charts and airwaves alike, but “When the Curtain Falls” leaves little doubt as to why Greta Van Fleet is the perfect band for the job. –Lindsay Teske

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03. Tyler, The Creator and A$AP Rocky – “Potato Salad”

Tyler, The Creator and A$AP Rocky’s “Potato Salad” is hilarious, poignant, and completely off-the-cuff, a trademark for the former with the polish of the latter. The two rap over the classic beat of Missy Elliot and Monica’s “KNOCK KNOCK”, covering everything from man purses (“satchels”) to Cole Sprouse in a matter of minutes. Making a listener laugh and groove at the same time is Tyler, The Creator’s greatest talent, and with A$AP Rocky by his side, the track is nearly perfect. –Clara Scott

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02. The Internet – “Come Over”

“Come Over” is the overall star track on The Internet’s new album, Hive Mind, and that is a feat in itself. The group seems incapable of putting out bad music, and “Come Over” is certainly no exception. The song is an ode to the “home alone, come over” sentiment, an incredibly chill groove that is carried by lead singer Syd’s smooth, Erykah Badu-esque vocals. The Internet is an answer to the lack of soul in today’s music, “Come Over” being the latest example of how a groove can change everything. –Clara Scott

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01. Ariana Grande – “God Is a Woman”

Ariana Grande’s reign over pop was never over, nor will it ever end, if the singles from her upcoming album, Sweetener, are any indication. Hot off the tails of a highly publicized engagement to Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson, Grande has released one hit song after another in anticipation of her new record, and “God Is a Woman” is undoubtedly the most profound. The single is an interesting mix of dance and ballad, ruminating on the merits of a lover who appreciates the power of being a woman. This is something Grande does best: she may make it easier to dance, but she’ll also make you think and maybe even cry. –Clara Scott

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